Fresh Kicks for Moms

Neutral sneakers for the win!

February 24, 2017

This time of year always gets me excited to wear sneakers again instead of snow boots or Uggs. Sneakers give me that light feeling like I could skip through the day instead of trudging through in heavy boots. I like a neutral sneaker with a low profile — something you can wear with leggings and ankle-length pants alike. Now we just need the snow (and ice) to melt!

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  1. These sparkly gold Nike Air Max Theas can go from the playground to dinner, $115
  2. I picked up these DV rose slip-ons from Target (!!) for $25 last weekend (note: they run a half-size big), $25
  3. Asics Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are classic in style, with a pop of color, $85
  4. The Adidas Originals Stan Smith’s came back in a big way and they’re a sure thing, $75
  5. Tretorns remind me of my childhood, and J. Crew has brought them back, $68
  6. I’m a sucker for Nike Internationalists in any color, but these neutrals are good, $90
  7. My boys have these checkerboard Vans, and Mommy may just need a pair herself! $50
  8. Love these retro Pre Montreal Racer Nikes, $100
  9. Supergas has become a classic, and this gray polywool pair with get you through the rest of winter, $89

Westchester Knicks Games = Family Fun for All

Check out a game with your crew!

February 22, 2017

We recently attend a Westchester Knicks Game with the kids at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. It offered all the action-packed fun of an NBA game – complete with dancing mascots and music – and was only a 10-minute drive from home.

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The Westchester Knicks are part of the NBA Development League, the NBA’s official minor league, which prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA. As a result, the players play hard because they’re all trying to get picked up for the NBA, making for a great game!

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The fun, family atmosphere make the games a blast for everyone! We had courtside seats and my 3-year old was a little sensitive to the sound, so maybe choose a balcony seat if you’ve got little ones in tow. Tickets range from $10 for balcony seats to $130 for courtside. Courtside seats and suite tickets include club access which provides food and non-alcoholic beverages with a great view of the game.

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Upcoming Featured Games include Family Night which takes place tonight (2/22), Black History Night on 2/25, and Superhero Night on 2/26.  You can even have a Westchester Knicks Birthday Party! For more info check out www.westchesterknicks.com.

UPDATE: Tonight’s Family Night will include face painting and balloon twisting! Kids can go free with an adult. Enter code JNBOGO at checkout for buy one – get one tickets. 

Photo credit: Getty Images/David Dow

 

50 Things to Do During February Break

Ideas on how to spend your staycation in and around Westchester.

February 20, 2017

Not going anywhere this February break? We hear it’s lovely in Westchester this time of year. And there’s certainly plenty to do, whether your plan is to bundle up the kids and head outdoors, or hang out around the house in your pajamas all week long. Here are 50 ideas on how to spend your week, updated for 2017!

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1. Take a winter hike. We’ve got kid-friendly trail routes for Rye Beach and Croton Gorge (you just might spot a deer!), as well as pointers for ice hunting at River Walk in Tarrytown.

2. Let the kids loose at an indoor play space. Northern Westchester readers: here are some additional places to play closer to you!

3. Go to the movies. Alamo Movies Theater in Yonkers is featuring the original Kubo and the Two Strings all week long for $1-$3. If your kids are more into science and engineering, drive up to the IMAX theater at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, where the STEM-related movie Dream Big just premiered this past Friday. And over at Ridge Hill’s Cinema de Lux in Yonkers, they’re showing old Disney favorites for $6 (Frozen is playing today; Dumbo is on this weekend).

4. Break out the slow cooker and avoid spending all day thinking about what to make for dinner.

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5. Hop on the train and take a ride into the city. Some cool things to check out with the kids: the SeaGlass Carousel down in Battery Park and the Children’s Museum of the Arts, just off the West Side Highway.

6. Or don’t hop on the train, and just watch them go by instead. Grab lunch at Valhalla Crossing near the station, a cute little restaurant housed in two converted train cars, with a designated room for train spotting while dining. For other great places to dine and spot trains, check out this past post. Choo-choo!

7. Howl with the wolves at Wolf Conservation Center’s winter wolves presentation, happening today and this weekend. Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families, visit with the center’s ambassador wolves, and enjoy hot beverages in the woodstove-heated classroom.

8. Lace up the skates and hit one of these Westchester ice rinks.

9. Skydive with the kids! iFly indoor skydiving center welcomes kids as young as 3. Float on a cushion of air to simulate the experience of freefall.

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10. Warm up with a steaming bowl of noodle soup. We found the best slurps in Westchester.

11. Learn something new at a science museum. There are two fantastic ones just a short car-trip away – the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and the New York Hall of Science in Queens.

12. Hit the slopes for a day of skiing or snow tubing at a small, family-friendly mountain.

13. Take a drive along the West Side Highway to the Intrepid, which is hosting its Kids Week today through Saturday, with programming centered around science and games. Meet scientists, explore interactive displays, and play cutting-edge digital games.

14. Let the kids make a mess at someone else’s place. Scribble Art Studio offers a drop-in session every Saturday for your kids to take advantage of all the art supplies. They’re also running a mini-camp all week long.

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15. Treat your winter-weary skin and lungs to some salt therapy at Breathe Easy in Dobbs Ferry and Katonah. Kids are welcome in the family room, which is set up with sand toys and kid-size chairs. Who needs the beach?

16. Check out Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, which bills itself as a four-season farm. Entry is free in the winter! Visit the animals and greenhouse, or pay extra to take the family farm tour.

17. Do Taco Tuesday at the new Cantina Lobos in Pelham.

18. Paint some pottery (or plaster, if you want to save a few bucks). Made in Mamaroneck, Plaster Palace in Larchmont, Fun Craft in Scarsdale, and A Maze in Pottery in Briarcliff Manor all take walk-ins.

19. Make a birthday celebration box with your kids and donate it to a local child in need. It’s a great snowy day project that your children will find meaningful.

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20. Take a hot chocolate tour. We found the best cups in Westchester. Or make your own hot cocoa at home and top it with fun whipped cream shapes. Yum!

21. Shop at an indoor farmers’ market. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to stop buying fresh veggies and locally made goodies. There are markets open on Saturdays in MamaroneckOssining and Pleasantville.

22. View the winter night sky from the Hudson Valley Museum’s state-of-the-art planetarium. It’s amazing. Seriously.

23. Bake healthy, yummy mini frittata muffins with the kids – we’ve got recipes for three different kinds.

24. Take a mini vacation that’s within driving distance from Westchester. There’s even a great destination that’s only 15 minutes away! Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery (and a hotel pool).

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25. Celebrate National Bird Feeding Month. Buy some birdseed and make simple bird-feeders with these easy craft ideas.

26. Watch a kid-friendly show on Broadway. The New Victory Theater is featuring a three-man juggling troupe this week, and perennial favorite The Gazillion Bubble Show is playing at New World Stages.

27. Make beef stew for dinner. Because nothing warms the heart in the middle of February like beef stew.

28. Head over to Mt. Kisco to check out the new-ish gourmet food court Exit 4 Food Hall.

29. Round up some kids and have a chocolate-making play date at Chocolate Works in Scarsdale.

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30. Go to the mall – specifically, the ginormous Palisades Mall in Nyack, just over the Tappan Zee Bridge. You’ll find endless entertainment, including a bowling alley, an ice-skating rink, a ropes course, a Ferris wheel, a carousel, an escape room, a virtual reality ride and a movie theater — plus, of course, hundreds of shops and restaurants!

31. Learn how to layer up properly for running outside.

32. Get a head start on spring cleaning. It’s so easy to donate your old toys, clothes, book and baby gear — some organizations will even pick up from your house!

33. Hang out in one of Westchester’s coziest coffeehouses. Even if you don’t like coffee, they’re just fun!

34. Participate in maple sugaring this Sunday at Teatown Lake Reserve. Naturalists will tap, collect, boil and bottle sap while sharing folklore about this late winter tradition. Registration is required.

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35. Put the kids to bed early (here’s a book that’ll knock ’em right out), mix up some winter cocktails (Bourbon butterscotch lattes, anyone?), and enjoy a cozy date night at home.

36. Have a real-life tea party at a place that offers afternoon tea service. Silver Tips Tea Room in Tarrytown and Kathleen’s Tea Room in Peekskill are both fine options. Pinkies up!

37. See — and make — art at one of Westchester’s great museums. The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers and Katonah Museum of Art both offer a “school’s out, art’s in” program during the break; admission for kids is free and each museum is featuring art workshops based on the current exhibits.

38. Have a family game night. Here are the board games we love playing in our own households.

39. Take a spin on an indoor carousel. Some nearby favorites: the Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo, the Bear Mountain Carousel, and the double-decker Palisades Center Carousel in Nyack.

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40. Turn your kids’ art projects into a lovely gallery wall.

41. Visit a children’s museum. Stepping Stones Museum for Children is worth crossing the border into Connecticut. Or check out the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye.

42. Enjoy the great indoors. If you’re stuck in the house with a small baby, here are some ideas for things to do at home.

43. Sign up for an art class. The Clay Art Center in Port Chester, Young At Art in Scarsdale, and The Rye Arts Center are all offering ways to get creative this week.

44. Or if you’d rather not commit to a class, drop in on a free art workshop at Lakeshore Learning in Scarsdale. The store runs the workshop every Saturday from 11am to 3pm for kids ages 3 and up.

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45. While away an afternoon at one of Westchester’s many independent bookshops, or the new Barnes & Noble concept store in Eastchester.

46. Examine exotic desert dwellers at Wave Hill in the Bronx this weekend. Kids ages 5 and up will visit the cactus and succulent house to sketch the plants, then make an exotic plant of their own using papier-mâché, bendable wire, paint and paper.

47. Treat yourself to a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich for lunch — and maybe let the kids have a bite or two.

48. Introduce your kids to bird-watching and bird identification at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale. A new program, called Project Feedwatch, is aimed at children and takes place today and every Sunday through March.

49. Jump the sillies out at Rockin’ Jump, an indoor trampoline park in Mt. Kisco. Boing!

50. Put a TV show on for the kids and take a nap. Go on. You’ve earned it. It’s vacation, after all!

Sponsored Post: Fashion Arts Studio of Westchester

A new loft space, new spring classes and a summer intensive

February 17, 2017

Known for their S.T.E.A.M-based fashion design courses, The Fashion Arts Studio of Westchester recently moved to a new studio in Port Chester. The space, complete with high ceilings, sets creative minds in motion in an airy artists’ loft-like space, similar to something you’d find in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood.

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New at the Fashion Arts Studio this Spring are class offerings on Sundays as well as a Spring Trend Forecasting class for ages 6 and up. Taught by a industry veteran and FIT graduate, the class will teach the methods and research performed to predict trends, and how that plays a role in shaping brands’ visions. And keep an eye out for an upcoming Computer Fashion Arts Class! Click here for full class descriptions and details – registration is taking place now!

Curious about the Fashion Arts Studio and want to check it out? There’s an Open Fashion Drawing class to kick off the Spring Session on Sunday March 5th from 10:30am to 11:30am at the studio. It’s a great opportunity to meet Owner, Ying Su, and get a feel for all that the studio and her programs offer.

There will also be a Summer Camp Intensive running Monday, July 10th through Friday, July 14th, from 9:00am to 5:00pm for ages 9 and up. During this Intensive course, students will sketch, drape, and sew a design of their own creation, culminating in a show that guests will be invited to at the end. (Viktor Luna from Project Runway Allstars has been know to make an appearance to critique!) The course will include a trip to Mood Fabrics in the city where students will purchase their final fabrics. Tuition will be $535, not including the fabrics or meals, which will be purchased by students. Class size is limited, so early registration is recommended.

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The Fashion Arts Studio of Westchester, 168A Irving Ave. Suite 300A, Port Chester.

 

Not Your Mother’s Maillot

One-piece swimsuit picks for your warm-weather getaway.

February 15, 2017

If you’re lucky enough to be heading somewhere warm this winter, stay calm. This season’s one-piece swimsuits are super stylish while still offering coverage (no belly exposure!). Many styles offer bust support without any underwire and cut-outs make them less old lady-ish, and more for the modern mom. All you need is your sunblock and a good hat!

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1. One-shoulder nautical suit from J. Crew, $118.

2. Solid color one-piece with cutout from J. Crew, $88.

3. Vibrant one-piece with keyhole and crisscross back from Nanette Lepore, $160.

4. LOVE this little peek-a-boo suit from Laundry by Shelli Segal, $130.

5. Flattering wrap-around style by Vince Camuto, $106.

6. Sweet scallops by Kate Spade, $150.

7. Waist-cinching strapless one-piece from La Blanca, $119.

8. Tie-dye wrap one-piece from Tory Burch, $215.

9. Off-the-shoulder ruffles that won’t break the bank from Topshop, $58.

My kids love Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember it being a big deal during my childhood, and it didn’t really mean much until I started dating (and then it meant too much), but for some reason it’s really taken off as a holiday for my own kids. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for making it special for them.

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Go nuts with that heart-shaped cookie cutter! Heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch, and heart-shaped mini pizzas for dinner.

Blow up a bunch of red and pink balloons and fill their room with them while they’re sleeping.

Use an erasable marker or shaving cream to draw a big heart on the bathroom mirror.

Leave a Valentine in their lunchbox, along with their favorite treat.

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Make chocolate-covered strawberries together for dessert. Here’s my favorite recipe, which involves a pinch of sea salt.

Read a love-themed picture book together. Even if your kids are older, it’s nice to snuggle up with an old favorite on this special day. Our book of choice is Consider Love: It’s Moods and Many Ways by Sandra Boynton, but here’s a whole list of other good ones.

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3

A Staycation 15 Minutes Away

February 8, 2017

Even if you can’t get away during February break, you can get away. At Doral Arrowwood Hotel in Rye Brook, have yourself an instant vacation. Case in point: Swimming outside in February. The resort has an indoor heated pool that snakes outside — think: steam rising off the warm water — and you can swim in it, no matter what the weather is. On a recent visit, we met a man that goes there to swim laps outside, even if with snow on the ground. (See outdoor pic below!)

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Near the pool is a game room featuring video games, air hockey and ping pong for the kids. Send the kids inside with a fistful of quarters, then duck into the health club. One local mom, who goes to the hotel with her family every winter break, says even just a few minutes in the sauna, steam room or hot tub is rejuvenating enough to “feel like a vacation.” On Friday and Saturday nights, the resort offers hot cocoa and s’mores by the outdoor camp fire and family movie nights in the conference rooms. If there’s snow on the ground, kids are invited to sled the surrounding golf course.

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In the morning, head down to breakfast — a large buffet is included in the cost of the room. Then spend the rest of the day at the pool, showering in the locker rooms before heading back home.

Total cost: $150 — including the cost of the room and breakfast. You can’t beat that for 24 hours of fun.

Doral Arrowwood, 975 Anderson Hill Road, Rye Brook; 844-211-0512

Family Photo Idea

This poignant photography project reminds us that our children won’t always be this small.

February 6, 2017

I’m a sucker for time-lapse photography, which is why I just love this project by British photographer Zed Nelson, who has captured the same family every year on film for 25 years. As he notes on his site, “I planned the shoots in a formal, almost scientific way. Each year, on the same date, against the same backdrop, under the same lighting, I would photograph the same family. This way there are no distractions, only the miracle of growth and the changes of time and aging.”

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The result is a series of photos that I can’t stop looking at or thinking about. Of course, we witness the couple’s son mature from a baby lolling in his car seat to a bespectacled young man standing taller than his father — and it’s astounding to contemplate how this will happen with my own children — but what really struck me was how the parents transformed through the years. We tend to have an image of ourselves in our mind’s eye that doesn’t change, but this series is a reminder to me that my husband and I are currently growing old together, even if we don’t realize it yet.

Click here to view the slideshow and see the family age before your eyes.

Sponsored Post: Style Reform Valentine’s Edition

Personalized "Love" Leggings make the sweetest gift

February 4, 2017

A couple months ago, we posted about Style Reform Activewear, a new line of leggings and tee’s that we LOVE (for both in and out of the gym.) Just in time for February, Style Reform has launched their Valentine’s Edition. A perfect excuse to treat yourself (or forward this to your sweetheart for a subtle hint –wink wink.)

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Style Reform Customized leggings make an awesome personalized valentine. Choose a monogram and valentine emblem to create a look that your love will adore. Available on the black on black power mesh style, these high waisted leggings in their signature maximum squeeze fabric are ideal for any high intensity workout.

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The assorted foil and glitter emojis are playful, stylish and a little edgy. You can choose the position on the back or side of the legging, depending on the statement you want to make!

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Totally customizable, another adorable option is to combine you + your love’s initials w/ a gold TLF, a glitter kiss or a glitter emoji, your choice! Style Reform Valentine’s leggings make pleasing your Valentine a breeze this year. At $70 a pop, these leggings don’t break the bank but are a thoughtful (and practical) gift every woman would love. Order by this Wednesday (2/8) to ensure Valentine’s Day delivery! Check out www.stylereform.fashion for more info!

There are some cool events and artsy performances happening locally in the next few weeks that are worth noting. We had to share.

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I know it’s short notice, but there’s a cool musical show at the White Plains Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8pm. In “6 Guitars,”  Chase Padgett portrays 6 different guitar playing characters each sharing their own style of music: Blues, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Folk & Country. Tickets start at $24.

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At the new Barnes and Noble concept store in Eastchester, New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella is hosting a “Girls Night Out” for her new book My Not So Perfect Life on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7pm. For $40 per person, there will be a reading and Q&A as well as wine and food. A good excuse to get out with the book club.

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We wrote about the Gazillion Bubble Show this week. The White Plains Performing Arts Center is hosting a similar performance, “Bubble Trouble,” on Feb. 25 at 2pm. This one man extravaganza features Jeff Boyer who juggles, sculpts and builds with bubbles. Kid in a bubble? Check. Bubble volcano? Check. Tickets are $18 to $24.

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At Tarrytown Music Hall, there’s Les Miserables School Edition for kids in early February, then another kids production, Disney’s Choo Choo Soul With Genevieve, on February 19th. But really, what we’re most excited about is  Pat Benatar: An Acoustic Evening, coming to the Music Hall on March 3. Love that lady.

With fresh baguettes in wire baskets on the white marble counter, potted succulents on the reclaimed wood tables, brass sconces and chandeliers, and just a dash of nautical style with the navy blue wallpaper emblazoned with golden jellyfish, Boro6 Wine Bar‘s design is as stylish as its menu. Opened a few weeks ago in downtown Hastings by a former Martha Stewart Living editor and her restaurateur husband — the couple live in town with their two children — Boro6 has quickly become a must-eat in the Westchester food scene.

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If the menu’s clean, simple food is similar to what you remember enjoying at communal tables in Italy, it’s because it was designed to be just that. At lunch and dinner, there are items like ricotta toast (with arugula, parmesan and soft boiled egg; $8) or a Tuscan kale salad (with pitch-perfect manchego, marcona almonds and citrus vinaigrette; $10). Order the Charcuterie for Two ($18) and meats like porchetta or 18-month Prosciutto di Parma come sliced lacey-thin. Think of it as good food, cooked simply and stylishly presented; accompanying my salad was a wire basket of toasted baguette slices drizzled in olive oil.

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The wine list, which can be accessed online, was curated by legendary Manhattan sommelier Karen King, wine director at Union Square Cafe. I can’t wait to go back on the weekend with my husband to swish and sip from the choices.

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Call ahead. On weekend nights, the windows along Warburton are fogged with patrons overflowing inside at tables and the bar. It’s been so crowded that the server said you can’t get in without a reservation Thursday through Sunday. Whether it’s date night or girl’s night out (or even pancakes and poutine on Sunday morning), add Boro6 to your list of must-go stops on the Westchester food scene.

Boro6 Wine Bar, 549 Warburton Avenue, Hastings; 914-231-9200

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere!

At the Gazillion Bubble Show.

January 30, 2017

Kids not ready for Broadway just yet? I hear ya. My 7-year-old daughter was pretty good about sitting through a recent show at the New Victory Theater, but my younger one (age 5) was squirmy throughout and then fell asleep toward the end, despite the loud music. They were both, however, rapt at The Gazillion Bubble Show, which plays year-round at New World Stages in the city.

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I wasn’t sure how we were supposed to be entertained for a full hour by bubbles, but we totally were — my husband and me included. It’s hard not to smile as Deni, the bubble artist (he and his family members, all trained in the bubble arts, take turns doing shows), ran through bubble feats, sudsy science and a soapy laser light show. The best part, however, was definitely when thousands of bubbles were blown out into the audience by a wind machine.

This is a great show for even the smallest kids, because it’s not all about staring at a stage — portions of it are sensory. The theater is small, so everyone can see what’s going on. The run time is just right (one hour, no intermission). And the content is perfect for anyone who likes to pop bubbles — which is, I assume, everybody. Check Groupon for discount tickets if you do decide to go.

The Gazillion Bubble Show, New Word Stages, 340 W. 50th St., New York

The Absolute Best Place to Go Dancing in Westchester

January 27, 2017

Trust me, I was skeptical that a rustic-style restaurant in Mt. Kisco could transform into a cool dance club successfully. But Little Drunken Chef did — and it was super fun to boot. We had a big group of couple friends from the neighborhood who wanted to eat and talk, then get moving on the […]

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What It’s Like to Live in Irvington

January 25, 2017

You could say a lot about living in Irvington. The schools are great. There are hiking trails. Foodies will cheer the numerous restaurants. But what hooks residents may be the sunsets. “People come here for many reasons – the proximity to the city, the schools, the rural feel – but ultimately, the river becomes a […]

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The Harlem Globetrotters Come to Westchester

January 24, 2017

The original trick-shot artists, The Harlem Globetrotters, will bring their 2017 World Tour to the Westchester County Center on Feb. 6 and 7. Fresh off winning 9 additional Guiness World Records for a total of 15, the Globetrotters are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 90 years. Tickets to […]

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Saying Goodbye to a Pet

January 23, 2017

Last week we put our cat to sleep. He was almost 15 years old and had been suffering from kidney failure for the past few months. Still, it was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make, and I am still crying as I write this. My husband and I have known Nermal […]

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